Ledy has been working as a saleswoman her whole life, starting with making crafts by hand in Ecuador and selling clothes in Spain. When her mother grew sick, she took over a small market stand that her family ran at a local farmers market in Oakland, CA. Ledy used her knowledge of inventory to expand the products and grow her business network. However, she knew she needed extra capital to diversify the products at her stand.
When Ledy joined Grameen America in 2012, she finally had the financial flexibility to experiment with diverse inventory. She used her first loan of $1,500 to invest in new merchandise that her market research suggested would sell very well, such as products related to Frida Kahlo and Virgin de Guadalupe. Today, Grameen America has invested over $40,000 in 10 loans to Ledy. Not only has Grameen America given her the opportunity to grow in her business, but it has also given her a structure for saving. She finds that seasonal saving works best for her, as the surplus from the summer season helps hold over the slower months in the winter.
After five years in the program, Ledy still loves the support she receives from the other women in her group. Ledy is thankful for the opportunity Grameen America has given her to advance her business and believes the program has allowed her to better support herself and her family.